Sunday, May 6, 2007
Taking Emotion Out Of Divorce Settlements
There are two things going on when a couple is getting divorced, the emotional aspect and the legal aspect. Sometimes the emotional aspect gets in the way of seeing the reality of the legal aspect of divorce. Since Florida is a no fault state, marital fault does not enter into play when determining equitable division of marital property. Therefore, when someone committed an affair or is "responsible" for the demise of the marriage it has no bearing on equitable distribution or alimony. However, often times, a party believes that they should be "compensated" for whatever harm was caused by the other party. This mistaken belief can cause settlement discussions to crumble and can ultimately force a party into a financially imprudent decision. Its important for your client to attempt to take emotion out of the settlement discussions and think from a rational standpoint. Prior to mediation, enforce what the law is to your client so that when they get into the mediation room, they are fully prepared to enter into a reasonable settlement. Its impossible to separate the emotional from the practical/logical when a couple is divorcing, but whatever steps you can take to encourage your client not to let emotions factor into whether or not to accept a settlement award, the better off financially your client will be.